Create a Compelling Press Conference Story

Dave Scelba - 02/24/2014

PR people need a good compelling elevator pitch to sell the producers and press desks. Strong upfront pitching is critical to securing good attendance by journalist and reporters and ensuring a successful press attendance. So to craft a newsworthy pitch story make sure it’s short, timely, emits emotion and will be impactful to viewers, listeners, readership and online followers. To get reporters to a press conference you’ll need a good hook and your story is the hook included in all media alerts and invites.

Victor Cruz the well- known wide receiver for the NY Giants football franchise was spearheading a significant capital campaign for the Boys and Girls Club of Paterson/Passaic in New Jersey. His foundation the Victor Cruz Foundation together with The NFL’s Snowflake Youth Foundation, MetLife Foundation, JP Morgan Chase and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation teamed up and donated over $500,000 to kick-off the renovation of the clubs aquatics/pool program and a new math and science curriculum. Our story was pretty simple, straightforward and broken down into two key talking points.

  • Boys and Girls Clubs played a major role in Victor Cruz’s life and helped him develop the character traits to become the successful man he is today. He never forgot where he came from and is giving back to an organization in a community that gave him so very much as a youth.
  • Funds are being used to renovate the Boys and Girls Club aquatic facility providing a safe, state-of-the-art environment for recreational and competitive swimming.  Additional funds are dedicated to launching “Cruz Control” an afternoon initiative offering educational enrichment programs in science, math and technology.

Victor Cruz is every PR persons dream. He’s sincere, humble, articulate and truly a nice guy. The first thing he said upon arriving was “I’ll do whatever you need me to do” and was there for all the right reasons. He didn’t show up with a big entourage, just his girl- friend (who is also his personal publicist) and mother. Victor spent much of his youth at the Paterson Boys and Girls Club so he easily spoke form the heart and required no coaching.

Victor brought the entertainment value to the pitch for The Boys and Girls Club. As the featured spokesperson he educated the journalists, reporters and guests with facts and figures while keeping them entertained and creating a desire of engagement which led to additional corporate and community contributions.

Keeping the pitch to only a few talking points helps the people responsible for media out-reach to  get to the point quickly and sell the journalists and reporters on the reasons for coming to the press conference.

The pitch story serves as the lead hook for the media alert which also includes: press contact information; strong headline for the event; what will be announced; who will be presenting/speaking; when – date and time; where – address, location; brief agenda; opportunities for interviews, photo-opts and b-roll plus few sentences/short bios on each presenter.

Download our e-book Conducting a Successful Press Conference and get tips on: establishing the purpose for a press conference; developing the logistics strategy; managing and coordinating journalist and reporters at the press conference and good post event follow-up.

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